King Oscar Vintage. I never knew such a thing existed other than the tin of King Oscars' that I occasionally find in the back of a cupboard. That is until this past December when King Oscar ran their annual Haiku contest. Select winners were awarded a tin of Vintage 1999 King Oscar Sardines. I was fortunate enough to win such a tin. I was also fortunate enough to receive three tins from other sardine Eaters that could not bring themselves to eat a tin of vintage sardines. Up until then, I thought only the French aged their sardines. It seems Norwegians have their little fish secrets--at least starting in 1993, when King Oscar first started aging Sardines. From KO Facebook:
"Every year since 1993 when the tradition began, King Oscar produces a small batch of "Vintage Bristling Sardines" from what is considered the best catch of any particular year. This short run is sold in select stores in Norway, otherwise we store small quantities for special occasions".
King Oscar Vintage Sardines come in a set of three in a gift box that includes a certificate with information about the fishing boat, along with the place and date of the catch. Only receiving one tin, I did not receive a box or certificate. I would of like to, honestly. I wonder what they did with all the empty boxes?
|Photo: Via King Oscar product page. http://www.kingoscar.no/produkt/argangssardiner/|
I've always been a fan of wrapped label tinned sardines, which are more popular in Portugal. Many sardine canneries are using plastic-wrapped tins.
Popping open the tin, I am met with an aroma of olive oil. In King Oscar fashion, they are a tin of two layers. All else in appearance is what you would expect from a tin of King Oscar.
Being a tin of "Vintage" King Oscar, I found it only suiting to break out the vintage King Oscar sardine prong. (Being made in Germany, I'm curious about the year this device was made?)
These sardines were softer in texture compared to the ones not aged. The little fish broke apart pretty easily while attempting to impale the little fish.
It was time to go back to the Sardine Server to get these little tender fish out of the tin.
The fish themselves had a very mild flavor. The olive oil balanced out nicely. Like wine, olive oil in any given year can make or break a can of sardines, sometimes contributing to a bitter taste or some may even call it a green taste. I took my time to consume the tin. It was a very good treat indeed. While a tin from 1999 may seem like an old tin, I've had tins much older. The quality of the these fish and tin remains great. I would like to see these offered in the States, but I'm sure it would be based on consumer wants or willingness.
I like to keep sardines for aging in old military ammo cans. The size will determine how many tins they will hold. (Olive oil seems to be the medium of choice for aging sardines.) I use a medium-sized ammo can. Each ammo can hold 27 tins of sardines.
|vintage, King Oscar, 1999. Vintage Stanley thermos around 1913.|
With the Vintage Sardines, who could resist some photo ops. Sardine food porn at its finest.
For more info on King Oscars aged sardines click HERE
King Oscar offers different variety of flavors of little fish in different areas.
Check out their other sites for more info.
Click HERE to see what is offered in other countries.
Rather it's aged sardines or a tin fresh off the shipping truck, keep popping those tins, Sardine Eaters!